Social media may seem like a place to post freely about whatever’s on your mind, whenever the urge strikes. For businesses, however, that’s not the case. For every successful enterprise on social media, there is a strict, data-backed schedule determining what it posts and when. Luckily, researchers have done the work for you when it comes to social media timetables.
We’ve compiled all of the most up-to-date information on the best times to schedule social media here for your benefit.
*Tip: Pay attention to your intended audience’s time zone. If your primary market is in the UK, for example, posting at midnight PST will be 8 a.m. in England.
According to the Pew Research Center, YouTube outstripped Facebook regarding the percentage of adults using the social media site (73% and 68%, respectively). YouTube has 1.3 billion users, with almost five billion videos watched daily. Although only 45% of U.S. adults say they use YouTube daily, this platform has the some of the highest numbers in user engagement. You can tap into this massive audience by knowing the perfect times to post video content on YouTube:
- Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 2-4 p.m. Videos posted midday on the first three days of the week get the most user engagement since it gives the platform time to index the videos and send them to subscriber newsfeeds.
- Thursday, Friday: 12-3 p.m. A slightly earlier time frame appears to work better on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays and Fridays are the peak days to post on YouTube as a brand.
- Saturday, Sunday: 9-11 a.m. Studies have concluded that earlier YouTube posts work best on the weekends.
YouTube is one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. Help your video content stand out by posting during both peak and non-peak times and days. Posting during high-traffic times, however, maximizes the odds of catching your audience’s attention. Keep in mind that users will see your YouTube videos in feeds and search results a few hours after you post them, since YouTube indexes content.
Facebook remains the most-often daily used social media platform by U.S. adults, with 74% of Americans using the site every day. More than half (51%) of Facebook users say they log on several times a day. Facebook’s status as the most popular social media has remained unchanged since Pew started gathering social media use data in 2012.
Facebook receives more than 1.4 billion active users daily. To tap into this audience with a social media marketing plan; brands should use Facebook posts to publish curated content (think how-to guides), blog posts (with photos), videos, and live videos to engage with audiences. Here’s what research says about the best times to post on Facebook:
- Noon to 4 p.m. The most research comes to the same conclusion about Facebook posting: in general, publishing content from noon to 4 appears to get the most user engagement.
- Early afternoon. On weekdays and Saturdays, early afternoon posts seem to do the trick.
- 1-3 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays, 1-3 p.m. posts appear to get the most views.
- 9 a.m. Nine in the morning is the runner-up to afternoon posts for Facebook, getting the second-most amount of user engagement
- Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Studies have shown that the ultimate peak hour to post on Facebook is Wednesday at 3
- The worst time to post on Facebook is after 8 p.m. on weekends. It appears that while consumers are active on social media at these times, they aren’t interested in seeing branded content. Before 8 a.m. on weekends also has low user engagement.
In 2018, Snapchat is seeing the second-most daily users at 63%. Almost half (49%) admit to logging onto Snapchat several times per day. Snapchat receives more than 173 million daily users and growing. Marketing through Snapchat can involve well-placed video ads, which based on studies receive twice the attention of ads on Facebook. Part of making Snapchat work for your business is knowing when to schedule your posts:
- Four to seven snaps per day. Snapchat gives you more leeway for frequent posting compared to other platforms, since posts (not ads) disappear within 24 hours.
- Late nights. Believe it or not, experts say to post your company’s snaps late at night – between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. The majority of Snapchat users access the app nocturnally.
- Any day. It doesn’t appear that any particular day of the week or weekend is best for posting to Snapchat, as users access the platform at all hours.
For maximum engagement, post when your desired audience is most likely to be on – night times and weekends. Keep in mind that Snapchat will only be an appropriate place for your brand to advertise if you’re targeting users ages 18 to 24, as 78% of people in this age group are on the platform. If you’re looking for an older audience, other platforms might be more appropriate.
Sixty percent of U.S. adults use Instagram daily in 2018. Instagram is the third-most used social media site, with 35% of U.S. adults logging on. Instagram is a place to post high-quality, high-resolution photographs and live videos (“stories”). The best times to post on Instagram based on consumer research are as follows:
- Late nights/early morning. Like Snapchat, Instagram is primarily a nocturnal habit for users. Studies cite 7-9 p.m. as the best time frame to post on Instagram, with some even saying to post as late as 2 a.m.!
- Lunch break. Posting during off-work hours is the most effective on Instagram, as this appears to be when users take the time to stop and scroll. Post between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to reach the lunch-hour Instagram rush.
- After work. Posting around 5 p.m. also appears effective, for the same reason as posting at lunchtime. The best days to post are weekdays, with Tuesday as a stand-out exception. Sunday Instagram posts receive the least amount of user engagement.
Instagrammers look for aesthetically-pleasing visual content on Instagram rather than lengthy captions. Quotes also rank well on Instagram.
Twitter is the platform for blog posts (with links), curated content, attention-grabbing GIFs, and news updates. Twenty-four percent of American adults use Twitter, with 46% logging on daily and 26% are checking their feeds several times a day. Give your Tweets the largest audience by posting according to the following schedule tips:
- High noon. Posting at 12 p.m. puts your Tweets in front of the lunch crowd for the most bang for your buck.
- 5-6 p.m. Tweeting after work also receives high user engagement, as people get off of work and check their phones and feeds.
- Weekdays (other than Friday) get the most Twitter engagement. Twitter is mostly a workweek-type of an app. By Friday, workers have already checked out for the weekend.
Like Snapchat, feel free to post on Twitter more often than you would on most other social media sites. Although Tweets don’t disappear after a day, users are expecting to see more frequent updates from brands on Twitter than on Facebook or Instagram.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform to post about your company and professional endeavors. Consumers go to LinkedIn to find information about a brand, like getting to know its employees or finding out if they’re hiring. You can also use LinkedIn to post long-form articles and white papers. The best times to post include:
- After work. LinkedIn is a platform for professionals. It makes sense that the best time to post would be when professionals have the time to check social media – around 5-6 p.m. on weekdays, right as people get off of work.
- 8 a.m-12 p.m. The early morning and afternoon hours often see decent LinkedIn engagement, at the start of most peoples' workdays. Many may be looking for interesting news to bring up by the water cooler that day.
Wow, the LinkedIn crowd by timing your posts to coordinate with their busy professional schedules. Post during off-work hours and in the early morning for your best chance at being seen.
Don’t want to worry about timing each social media post perfectly across multiple channels? Partner with LotVantage and we’ll do the work for you! We can schedule social media posts according to your audience and marketing best practices.